The true en­e­mies of the peo­ple

Sunday Independent (Ireland) - Living - - GUIDE -

Be­cause as the re­porters work away on th­ese hy­dra-headed sto­ries about Trump, some of their col­leagues are leav­ing the build­ing, never to re­turn.

At one level we are in­vited to re­gard this jour­nal­ism as per­haps the only pro­tec­tion that Amer­ica has against the to­tal­i­tar­ian right, while at the next level, lit­er­ally on the next floor, peo­ple are be­ing moved out of the busi­ness en­tirely.

So it is flour­ish­ing as never be­fore, and it is also clos­ing down. Some­times on the same day. In one part of the build­ing they’re break­ing sto­ries about James Comey and about Trump’s ob­struc­tion of jus­tice, in an­other part they are telling good peo­ple they’ll have to find some­thing else to do with their lives.

In 50 years time, should the forces of Amer­ica dark­ness prevail, some will look back at th­ese scenes of jour­nal­ists try­ing to re­port it, while their in­dus­try is shift­ing un­der­neath them, and they will have a much clearer sense of the larger move­ments of his­tory which were in train — they will per­haps view the var­i­ous at­tacks on the busi­ness mod­els of jour­nal­ism and mu­sic and other cul­tural forms not as some ac­ci­den­tal mis­for­tune of the in­ter­net, but as part of a broader to­tal­i­tar­ian strat­egy.

Which will be re­garded by oth­ers as a “con­spir­acy the­ory”, but then we are reach­ing the stage at which all such su­pe­rior-sound­ing dis­missals are ac­tu­ally proof that some sort of con­spir­acy is in­deed in progress.

No longer is it fan­ci­ful to be re­gard­ing the Amer­i­can pres­i­dent es­sen­tially as a Rus­sian agent, at a time when British democ­racy is go­ing down to what will even­tu­ally be seen as a coup by the far right — again with those Rus­sian in­flu­encers there or there­abouts.

No longer are such propo­si­tions to be jeered at by su­per­cil­ious “con­ser­va­tives”, there are re­porters at The New York Times and at some of the other pa­pers still left to us, who are stand­ing up th­ese sto­ries all the time.

So yes, Trump is right to re­gard them as the en­emy, but not the en­emy of “the peo­ple”, just the en­emy of Trump — in­deed in last week’s episode of Re­port­ing Trump’s First Year... you could see the Times re­porter at the rally at which the pres­i­dent made that at­tack, and it all seemed even more ap­palling from that per­spec­tive.

There was a real stench of the bierkellers of the 1930s about it.

So it was not a good time, not a good look, for Leo Varad­kar to be mak­ing any noise of any kind which even vaguely sug­gests that he might be on the same page as the Trumper on cer­tain mat­ters re­lat­ing to the me­dia.

There is some­thing that Leo is not getting here, some­thing that his bril­liant ad­vis­ers might call “the big pic­ture”.

Maybe they should watch Re­port­ing Trump’s First Year..., and they might get a sense of what we are up against.

We as­sume there is no ques­tion about which side they’re on.

Dark days ahead .... Me­dia is en­emy of Trump, not en­emy of the peo­ple

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